The analysis of the dental calculi obtained from the teeth of the jaw of an individual found in the site of the Sima del Elefante de Atapuerca (Burgos), which is more than 1.2 million years old, has led to a recently published study on plant diet in the journal The Science of Nature, in which researchers from the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) Ruth Blasco and José Maria Bermúdez de Castro have participated. Said study, led by Karen Hardy, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona-ICREA, reveals remains of certain grasses and pollen of conifers trapped in dental calculi (tartar) that were housed in said jaw, called ATE9-1, which indicates an important plant component in the diet of early European human populations. As Ruth Blasco explains, two samples of 0.5 and 0.8 micrograms were extracted and microscopically analyzed from one of the premolars,

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which were subjected to a chemical process Grenada Email List of spectrometry and chromatography to identify plant micro-debris and other microorganisms contained in the plate. . The food remains identified in ATE9-1 not only pointed to a plant component in the diet of these hominids but also to the fact that the environment of 1.2 million years ago was warmer than the current one and allowed the development of humid forests and large grasslands. . “It is worth noting the fact that none of the micro-remnants appear to have been thermally processed, which is consistent with evidence of the absence of fire in Eurasia prior to 780,000 years,” adds Ruth Blasco. Dental hygiene In addition to the remains of grasses and pollen, microscopic wood fragments were also located that could correspond to the use of toothpicks to remove the remains of food that would be

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trapped in the interdental spaces. “In fact, the ATE9-1 jaw has a wear groove in one of its premolars that could be related to these habits,” explains José María Bermúdez de Castro. In the most ancient prehistory dental hygiene was som the drop in sea level that led to the connection between Mallorca and Menorca to colonize the latter island”, explains the researcher. According to the expert, these results corroborate the lack of dispersive capacity of this group of spiders and again demonstrate the relevance of tectonic movements in the configuration of the current diversity of the Mediterranean basin. The Nemesia are a sample of this diversity, since different species have been described throughout the Mediterranean basin and on the main islands of that sea. «The research, using similar methods, will continue with the study of the origins of

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